Ahead of their upcoming European Championship qualification matches against Belarus on Saturday (20:45 CEST) and Estonia in Mainz on Tuesday (20:45 CEST), Germany’s men’s national team took part in an exciting public training session in Aachen on Wednesday. The following day, team members Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer spoke about the tasks that lie ahead of them.
…his return to the national team: I was very happy. In November, I had to miss out due to family reasons, and then I was injured in March. That’s why it’s been a while since I’ve been part of the team, and why I’m very happy to be back again.
…Die Mannschaft’s new start: A lot has happened over the last few months. We’ve started to build up a new team. Something had to happen after our bad World Cup showing. We are highly motivated and want to achieve big things during the next tasks that lie ahead of us. But, it will take time until we’re back at the same level as the 2014 and 2016 teams. If we keep working hard on ourselves then we have the potential to find our way back to our old strength.
…his experience: I have made 50 appearances for the national team and won two titles with them. I’m very proud of that. I’m still young and in that regard there is still room for improvement. I’m glad that I’m able to help build a new team.
…the squad hierarchy: It’s evolving. We’re on the path to building a completely new team with a new hierarchy. It remains to be seen who will take responsibility and put in the effort. There are many new players on the team. With 50 caps, I obviously have a certain level of experience, but far be it from me to say that I’ll take over complete responsibility. Everyone has to help out in order for us to be successful again—that goes for me as well.
...the preparations for the match against Belarus: We haven’t taken a complete look at our opponent yet. We analysed our last game. We took a huge step forward against the Netherlands—we want to continue that same way. The goal is to take six points from the next two games.
…the previous training sessions: We had position-specific meetings where we analysed the last few games through discussions and videos, which has worked well. We were able to train well and are well-prepared.
…his versatility: We have options, given that we are able to play many different formations. I strive to make a good impression. In the end, it’s the coach who decides on the lineup. I always try to showcase myself in the best way possible.
…Marcus Sorg: He’s the same as always: very communicative, organised and talks a lot with the players—even on an individual basis. I haven’t noticed any signs of stress from him, only that he is highly motivated to be successful in both games.